My Favorite People in Publishing Share Their 2013 Faves + A Giveaway

Meeting other readers and bloggers is something I love about this whole blogging experience. In addition to to all the awesome readers who I connect with, I’ve been so lucky to be able to work with some crazy awesome people in publishing because of this blog. I mean, these people are super passionate readers who get to work with books EVERY DAY. In the past 3.5 years I’ve been able to really get to know these dedicated pushers of books and I trust their opinions so much. They are all fabulous people and I’m so, so thankful for all they do for the book world and how awesome they are to work with!

I’ve gathered a few of my favorite people in publishing that I’ve had the privilege of getting to know and work with and asked them about THEIR favorite books of the year and they were so kind to share the love and put together this AWESOME giveaway for one lucky winner!

Epic Reads

You can find Margot here: Twitter | The Real Fauxtographer

What can I say about Margot? From the moment I met her at BEA, during her first few weeks on board the HarperTeen team to launch Epic Reads, I knew she was going to be awesome. Her vision for EpicReads was phenomenal and she was super cool! This gal works so hard to keep the most kickass bookish community, Epic Reads, running and I’m constantly impressed by her creativity and the way Epic Reads has just grown in the short time it has been around. Plus she is a kickass YA fauxtographer — did you see this picture she took of me as Anna? She’s also my book soulmate because her faves are 3 of MY faves this year as well!

Margot’s Favorite

Favorite 2013 Release

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Favorite 2013 Release You Think Slipped Under The Radar

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith

Favorite 2013 Release From Another Publishing House

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales


Follow Erica on Twitter!

Erica is actually the one I’ve known the longest. I met her early on in the first few months of this blog when she was working over at another publisher! Somewhere there is a picture of us at the Brooklyn Book Fest looking like drowned rats! Erica is one of the smartest marketing gals I know and she makes me VERY excited about books she knows I’ll like!

Erica’s Favorites

Favorite 2013 Release

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller

I won’t rest until everyone I know reads this book. It’s not just that it’s amazing (though it is SO amazing), it’s that Trish somehow managed to see inside my heart and write a character who so perfectly captures everything I felt at 17 and 18 and beyond. I wasn’t kidnapped as a kid like Callie was (thank god), but I went through that same struggle to discover who in my life was really on my side and who I should let in. I love it so, so much.

Favorite 2013 Release You Think Slipped Under The Radar

Hostage Three by Nick Lake

Hostage Three Nick Lake

This one hasn’t slipped under the radar entirely, as it’s gotten some great reviews, but I haven’t seen as many bloggers reading it as I KNOW would enjoy it. Hostage Three is Nick Lake’s second book, after his Printz-winning In Darkness, and it’s everything that book was and more. What’s so impressive about Nick is the way he can marry a really compelling thriller with so many insights into other cultures and the way we relate to them.

Favorite 2013 Release From Another Publishing House

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales

There was a point while I was reading this on the subway and I actually felt sick to my stomach because I was so worried for the main character. I wanted to reach into the book so badly and tell her it would be okay. Any time a book makes you have such a physical reaction, you know you’re in love.


Follow Lauren on Twitter!

Lauren is one of my new favorite people ever! I’d been working with her for a little while and finally got to meet her at BEA this year. Let me tell you..this girl can man a BEA booth like nobody’s business. We got to chat for a little bit before the swarm descended upon her and she makes it looks so effortless. She’s an awesome person and she KNOWS what I love. You can blame her for the fact I can’t stop talking about We Were Liars.

Lauren’s Favorites

Favorite 2013 Release


I was so happy to see all the love for Matt De La Peña’s THE LIVING this fall! This is Matt’s fifth YA book and it’s definitely making a splash (LOLZ, requisite cruise-ship-disaster pun). I hope everyone read his amazing essay for NPR’s Code Switch—and if that doesn’t convince you that this guy can write, I don’t know what will.

Favorite 2013 Release You Think Slipped Under The Radar

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

If you haven’t read Amy Christine Parker’s GATED, I recommend you get on that ASAP before the sequel comes out next year. Can you imagine if the reality you grew up with was completely fabricated? I like to think of this world as “Dystop— JK! You’re just in a cult!” This is a contemporary thriller that will stress you out in the best possible way. (Plus it’s getting a fab new cover for the paperback and I might bug Jamie to premiere it here!)

Favorite 2013 Release From Another Publishing House


A week ago, I would have said The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer, and I still put that as a close second. But I just finished BEAUTIFUL RUINS by Jess Walter and I’m so sad that it’s over. You know when you start a book and realize that you’ve heard good things but actually have no idea what it’s about? That happened to me here, and I almost prefer it that way. After the fact, I read the description they have online and it’s pretty vague (sorry Harper!)—definitely doesn’t do this expansive yet intimate story justice.





You can follow Ksenia here!

Ksenia is a dream publicist to work with! If you ever get an email from her it’s like CHRISTMAS. She makes everything so easy as a blogger and I always appreciate how hard she works. ALSO at BEA this year she totally introduced me to RL FREAKING STINE! Best. moment. ever. And he told me to call him BOB. Thanks Ksenia!! Also, she has fab taste in books and is always getting me outside of my comfort zone and finding me awesome books — cough Cinder cough Shadow and Bone.

Ksenia’s Favorites

Favorite 2013 Release

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales

Contemporary can be a huge hit or miss with me but This Song Will Save Your Life hit all the right chords for me (pun intended!).

Favorite 2013 Release You Think Slipped Under The Radar


Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff (from our graphic novel imprint First Second Books)

This is such a fun romp! For anyone who loves adventure with a very clever heroine, this is for you. Even if you don’t like graphic novels, give this one a try, preferably with a cup of tea!

Favorite 2013 Release From Another Publishing House

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The is actually a tie for me: Winger by Andrew Smith and Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

In regards to Winger, if Andrew Smith writes it, I will read it. As for Crown of Midnight, it had everything I wanted in a fantasy and so much more! I was surprised by how much I loved this follow-up to Throne of Glass. Can’t wait for the next book in the series!



Follow Ali on Twitter!

I’m pretty sure Ali has clones! I don’t know how she does all the things she does otherwise. Girl works so hard whether she’s on a Dark Days tour or sending out books to bloggers or setting up blog tours! ALSO, let me tell you this 1) she is super fun to hang out with and 2) you will meet nobody in publishing who dresses as fab as her. My clothes and shoes always want to go cry in a corner when I’m in her presence!

Alison’s Favorites

Favorite 2013 Release


I could probably name 80% of our catalog, but I’ll try to cut it down. I was so excited for the end of Cynthia Hand’s UNEARTHLY trilogy. BOUNDLESS published in January, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it did the exact opposite. I’m also the biggest fan of SEPTEMBER GIRLS by Bennett Madison. And PIVOT POINT by Kasie West! And NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis! And— sorry! one more!— I have to throw in THE FALL OF FIVE. I’m such a sucker for all of the I AM NUMBER FOUR books. My only complaint is they don’t come out fast enough, even when you work at Harper.

Favorite 2013 Release You Think Slipped Under The Radar


I don’t have enough friends who have read UNRAVELING and UNBREAKABLE by Liz Norris (the latter published this year) or the INSIGNIA series by S.J. Kincaid (VORTEX came out in July). If you have friends with better taste, I’ll trade you.

Favorite 2013 Release From Another Publishing House

This Song Will Save Your Life Leila Sales

Okay, this question isn’t really fair since there are so many books on my to read list that I haven’t had a chance to read yet. For instance, I’m a huge fan of DOLL BONES by Holly Black, but I’ve yet to snag a copy of THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN. Funny how difficult it is to obtain books when they aren’t readily available to you via your office intranet! I will say that I recently read THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE by Leila Sales and thought it was aces.


Find Eric here: Twitter | His website

Here’s a funny thing about Eric and I. I live in the Philly area and he is does also as that’s where Quirk is located. HOWEVER, the only time we’ve ever seen each other is at the past 2 BEA’s in New York. One of these days we will meet up in our city! Eric is not only the marketing and social media manager rockstar at Quirk but he’s also an author of The Geek’s Guide To Dating and he just let the cat out of the bag about his debut into the YA world with Bloomsbury Spark called Inked. I for one can’t wait to read it!! He’s a very talent and awesome dude!

Eric’s Favorites


Favorite 2013 Release

This is a hard one, because seriously, I love all our books so much!


I think I’ll pick Countdown City by Ben H. Winters for this one though, because not only did I love every single page, but it was also my most anticipated. It’s a sequel in Ben’s The Last Policeman trilogy, and when you work in publishing, you get to read advance copies and manuscripts really early. It felt like forever, the wait between the manuscript of the first book to getting my hands on the second!

If you’re unfamiliar with the novel, it’s a police procedural that takes place before the end of the world. An asteroid is set to hit the Earth, and the novel focuses on Hank Palace, a detective who keeps doing his job despite the end approaching. It’s a riveting, awesome series, and I’m anxiously awaiting the third book due out next year.

Favorite 2013 Release You Think Slipped Under The Radar


Hm. Maybe Suburban Legends? It was an eBook exclusive re-release, and it’s a fun read full of scary tales from the suburbs.

Favorite 2013 Release From Another Publishing House

AH! This feels so unfair. I read so many great books this year!

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I think I’ll have to go with Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. It’s a St. Martins Press book, and Rainbow totally gets my demographic. The geeks. She constantly makes me laugh and cry, telling stories about people that feel like they would have been in my circle of friends back in high school. I tell everyone I can about her books, whenever the opportunity arises. Such as now. Go read her stuff!


So we have a great prize pack for one lucky winner thanks to these super generous ladies and gent:

Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis
The Living by Matt de la Pena (signed!!)
The Last Policeman & Countdown City by Ben H. Winters
Where The Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller
Hostage Three by Nick Lake
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Pivot Point by Kasie West

If you know me, 4 of these are some of my FAVE reads this year so this is a great prize pack especially because now I’m eager to read the couple I missed!

US Only (sorry friends!). Giveaway ends December 31!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So moral of the story: these people are all amazing and you want to know them, they have great taste in books because quite a few of these were personal faves AND you should all probably go read This Song Will Save Your Life because so many of them, plus me, picked it as a fave of 2013!!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Bahaha, I’m sensing a theme here! But This Song Will Save Your Life was totally good enough to warrant all the mentions!

  2. I love this feature! It was interesting to read about their favorite books especially the ones that weren’t published by their publishing homes. It’s always nice to see how in a sometimes competitive field, there is still a strong appreciation for the written word. Sadly though I don’t think I’ve read any of the books that were mentioned here but I do plan on it sometime soon!

  3. I would totally be freaking out if R.L. Stine told me to call him Bob! Also, Ksenia is my favoritest person ever because she chose Crown of Midnight. I want everyone to read that book it’s so awesome. Fabulous post & giveaway Jamie 🙂

  4. I loved reading all the picks. I’m so behind on reading 2013 releases that I really appreciate help narrowing down what to read first! Can’t wait to catch up on all of these. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. I’m really liking this post, doyke! Erica has convinced me that I should read Hostage 3. I put it in my “I”ll probably never read” pile, but pulled that baby out— it’s back in the game! haha Also happy that Alison mentioned Unraveling/Unbreakable- that is a series I’ve been wanting to read for a while now!

  6. Love this post!! I wanted to send all the publicists cookies this year for all the amazing things they do!! I love seeing what their favorites of the year were and also This Song Will Save Your Life … AMAZING!! I love seeing that most of them felt the same!!

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!
    jaime @fic fare

  7. I am so honored to be included in this post amongst amazing, brilliant people. I would add Jamie to my list of favorite publishing people. Also, it’s so great to see so many people love This Song Will Save Your Life! We should all go to a dance club now. . .

  8. I love that we all love This Song Will Save Your Life! And I definitely have that pic of us somewhere (or Lori does!)

  9. Dahlia Adler says:

    Man, I really, really need to bump up THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE on my TBR!! I’m so glad for year-end reflections because I’d had no idea that GATED was Contemporary until I saw a couple of people talking about it on Twitter a couple of days ago and it’s exactly the sort of book I need in my life yesterday. Also psyched to hear that PERFECT RUINS was great, from someone else who loved THE INTERESTINGS!

  10. So many awesome people in publishing — and I’m jealous of their jobs, too. I think if I had to do it all over again, I’d do that. Because books rock. Hard! Fantastic post. And I love Ksenia’s Xena Warrior Princess chakram. Fab.

  11. So basically, the publishing peeps are saying I need to read This Song Will Save Your Life. 😉

    Great post! I love these peeps too!

  12. Love this post! It’s so much fun getting to know the publicists behind the publishing accounts! I definitely have to read This Song Will Save Your Life I think since it appeared on so many of their lists.

  13. This is FABULOUS. I love getting to see what publicists REALLY think. I mean, it’s just hard to know when it’s publicity and when it’s true bookish flailing sometimes. I don’t begrudge this, because people need to eat and all, but yay for these things.

    Margot’s picks: Not a Drop was really good. Wild Awake was cool, but not really a Christina book, sadly. Oh, Hostage Three. I’d forgotten about that one (whoops), and I should look into it again!

    Ksenia is made of wonderfulness.

    Alison is cheating like whoa and I love it.

    Eric: Countdown City was quite good. That series is probably my favorite thing from Quirk. I’ve not heard of the Suburban Legends book at all. And, yes, FANGIRL.

    Lauren’s picks: Oh, hey, I’ve read none of these. But I do have Gated coming up soon and own Beautiful Ruins, thanks to Kara.

    Erica’s picks: Where the Stars Still Shine is awesome sauce. And so is Trish Doller.

    Overall: This Song Will Save Your Life could not be more badass. It’s on almost every list.

  14. I guess it’s time to read This Song Will Save Your Life. Yay Fangirl!

  15. Apparently I need to read This Song Will Save Your Life since everybody loves it! I am missing out. If I don’t get it for Christmas, I’m going to buy it right after.

  16. This Song Will Save My Life needs to move up my list NOW. Yeesh. =p

  17. I am adding This Song Will Save Your Life to my list! I didn’t know if it was my thing or not but the critics seem to be unanimous, this was a great read!

  18. Loved this post!! Sadly I haven’t read a lot of these books 🙁 Except that I loved Winger by Andrew Smith and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! And This Song Will Save Your Life has definitely been on my radar for awhile! Sounds so good! And man that cover for Where the Stars Still Shine – GORGEOUS!! Thanks so much for all involved in this awesome giveaway!!!

  19. It’s so sad that the only two books from this post that I have read are Fangirl and Wild Awake. 🙁 However, I loved both of them! Two of my favourites from this year for sure. Also I loved this post! “Meeting” some of these bookish people in the publishing industry was great! And the giveaway looks awesome! Too bad I’m in Canada 🙁 😛

  20. I see a pattern with ‘This Song Will Save Your Life’ 🙂 I can’t wait to get to that in January.

  21. Love this post! Many of these are on my TBR list, but I HAVEN’T READ ANY OF THEM YET. Yikes! I’m totally intrigued by Gated, though. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it sounds creepy and fun.

  22. Ohhh, look at all the books! I have PIVOT POINT and HOSTAGE THREE but haven’t read them yet, and I’ve been hearing such good things about THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Thanks for the giveaway, and Happy Holidays!

  23. Some of my favorite books are here! Love this post too 😀 It must be great to have friends in the publishing world 😀

  24. Sweet! Sounds like some great reads!

  25. Thanks for reminding me that I really want to read This Song Will Save Your Life. Hopefully I’ll win a copy!!! 🙂

  26. Wow! I just added some new books to my TBR list. Thanks 🙂

  27. Alaa Alhomaizi says:

    This is such an awesome post!!

  28. thanks for the fun post!!! it’s so cool to “meet” the behind the scenes peeps who make it all run so smoothly 🙂

  29. This was really neat! Nice to meet some of the faces behind the big publishers.

  30. I haven’t read any of the ones mentioned, but it gives me a lot to add to my list! Thanks for putting this together. Great idea!

  31. It’s so fun to put some faces to the names we see floating around out there!

    And hello to the best idea EVER to get the insiders favorite picks of the year! You’re a genius, woman.

  32. I think the main point of this post for me was that I NEED to read This Song Will Save Your Life.

  33. That mini review for Gated made me laugh haha. Now I have on my wishlist! Along with “This Song Will Save Your Life” and “Where The Stars Still Shine”.

    Awesome post! It’s nice seeing everyone’s picks and hearing about people in the publishing industry 😀

  34. Love this! We work with Ksenia for Selective Collective and she’s great! Really glad to see so many similar books on everyone’s list. Must get to reading them!

  35. It makes me so happy that quite a few of my personal favorites – Crown of Midnight, This Song Will Save Your Life, Where the Stars Still Shine, Fangirl and Boundless – made it on to this list. It’s also given me a bunch of ideas for books that I really should read already (Not a Drop to Drink, Beautiful Ruins, Winger, The Fall of Five). I love that you came up with this post Jamie; it’s super creative!

  36. It’s so fantastic you’ve made book friends all the way across the board! I think I always thought people who worked in the publishing industry were some sort of weird mythological creatures haha it’s nice to know they’re real people. I haven’t heard of all the books, so I’m definitely going to have to check them out

  37. Oh my! I guess I definitely have to read This Song Will Save Your Life now! Haha 🙂 Everyone sounds so cool… It would be so much fun to work in publishing…

    Thank you dearie! This was really fun post and amazing giveaway wahoo

  38. great give away would love to win!

    rebecca xx

  39. I must admit, I am totally jealous of all your bookish friends! I can imagine it’d be the best way to hear about all of the awesome upcoming books. There were some books here (and some bookish peeps) that I had never heard of before, so thanks for sharing! 🙂

  40. Great picks!

  41. This is a great feature. You’ve had the privilege to meet so many great sounding people!


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